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efms Migration Report

July 1996

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Vietnam willing to implement repatriation agreement

The Vietnamese government responds to diplomatic pressure from Bonn, by agreeing to remove bureaucratic obstacles to implementing the repatriation agreement. Hanoi pledges to facilitate admittance procedures and to begin repatriation of approximately 40,000 Vietnamese currently residing in Germany. To this aim, Hanoi presents a list of 3,000 names. The German government endeavours to improve conditions for voluntary return of Vietnamese to their country. Meanwhile, plans are underway for a joint crackdown on the Vietnamese "cigarette mafia" active in Berlin. An exchange of police officials is planned.
SZ 5.7.96 // FR 5.7.96 // FR 6.7.96 // SZ 10.7.96

Bonn negotiates return of Bosnian refugees

The deadline for beginning forced repatriation of Bosnian civil-war refugees remains controversial. UNHCR Representative Kumin considers a return to Bosnia before winter to be impossible and proposes spring 1997 as the earliest possible date. The German government has conceded that due to security risks, Bosnians should not be forced to return to Serb-controlled territory. Bonn pursues negotiations over repatriation with Sarajevo and Belgrade. Federal Minister of the Interior Kanther wants to make EU reconstruction aid for Bosnia subject to the country"s willingness to re-admit its refugees.
NZ 6.7.96 // FAZ 6.7.96 // dpa 22.7.96

Nordrhein-Westfalen: Financial assistance for voluntary return to Bosnia

The Nordrhein-Westfalen state government is offering Bosnian refugees financial "starting assistance" in the amount of ca. 600 DM per adult and ca. 300 DM per child. The aid is being offered to induce Bosnians to return voluntarily to their home country. The state has set up two counselling centers and made it possible for refugees to undertake "orientation trips" home with the right to return within a limited period. The Caritas organisation in Essen views such financial assistance as a "cheap solution" which will result in increased tension between refugees and those Bosnians who remained at home. Representatives of the FDP criticize the aid as unfair to those Bosnians who have returned home without receiving a bonus.
SZ 9.7.96 // FR 9.7.96 // FR 12.7.96

Failure to implement repatriation agreement with Belgrad

The agreement signed in May by Federal Foreign Minister Kinkel and Serbian President Milosevic has proved worthless. Under the conditions of the contract, 120,000 refugees from rump Yugoslavia are to be repatriated. Serbia, however, has contravened the settlement by suddenly requiring new documents and 120 DM payment per person from the 2,000 Kosovo Albanian refugees who were to be repatriated first.
Spiegel 8.7.96 // dpa 18.7.96

Federal support for returning Bosnian refugees

Bosnians who voluntarily return home can apply for financial assistance for luggage and personal transportation costs. This arrangement is part of a program for reintegrating refugees set up by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs.
FR 19.7.96 // SZ 19.7.96

Bremen: Private companies involved in deportations

The CDU-led Bureau of the Interior in Bremen plans to commission a private agency to determine the nationality of a rejected African asylum seeker and, if successful, to acquire entry papers. The asylum seeker is not to be deported for the moment, since authorities are awaiting the decision of the administrative court as to the legality of using a private firm for this purpose. Politicians from the SPD, the Green Party, as well as the refugee assistance organization "Pro Asyl" and Bremen human rights groups accuse the government of evading its constitutional duties in a way which cannot be monitored. Bremen"s commissioner for foreigners considers it illegal to engage a private company. Because of the protests the private agency withdraws its offer. A "repatriation task force" of the Interior Minister Conference charged with accomplishing more effective, cheaper and centrally organized implementation of deportation, discusses the permissiblity and usefulness of engaging private companies.
SZ 11.7.96 // FR 11.7.96 // Welt 11.7.96 // SZ 15.7.96 // SZ 16.7.96 // dpa 22.7.96

Torture often not recognized as grounds for asylum

A study conducted by the Treatment Center for Torture Victims in Berlin in which the protocols of 40 hearings of asylum seekers and the subsequent decisions were examined, finds that maltreatment in the country of origin often either goes unmentioned or is considered irrelevant in the evaluation of asylum petitions. Of the 40 patients only six were recognized as politically persecuted. In about two thirds of the cases the Federal Bureau for Asylum does not regard torture as an obstacle to deportation.
taz 9.7.96 // FR 11.7.96

Coalition parties continue dispute over alien policies

Once again the future planning of alien policies is the subject of controversy between the coalition parties CSU and FDP. A demand formulated by 150 CDU Bundestag representatives in June, renewed the debate over easing restrictions on naturalization, despite the fact that the group has remained a minority. The FDP responds with heavy criticism to CSU statements reaffirming their absolute rejection of double citizenship. The FDP advocates improving opportunities for aliens living in Germany to be naturalized and integrated.
NZ 15.7.96 // SZ 15.7.96 // FAZ 18.7.96 // Welt 29.7.96

Bayern: the Green Party calls for stiff measures against female slavery

At a conference held in Regensburg on the subject of "slavery, prostitution and sex-tourism in Bayern and its border areas", the Green Party called for effective measures to combat increasing trade in women along the German border to Eastern Europe. According to Bundestag representative Köhler, around 50,000 Eastern European women work in Germany as prostitutes, many of whom are forced to do so. In the past year (1995) the number of registered cases of trafficking in humans has risen by 40% as compared with the previous year. The Green Party demands improvement in the legal, health and social conditions of affected women, as well as assistance organizations and cooperation between authorities on both sides of the border.
dpa 22.7.96

Increased attacks on Turkish institutions

A series of arson attacks on Turkish establishments perpetrated by unknown persons in German cities is linked according to investigators to political disturbances in Turkey. It is suspected that leftist organizations are attacking Turkish establishments in connection with the hunger strikes of political prisoners which have resulted in several deaths. Turkish businessmen feel threatened and deplore the damages and resulting problems with insurance agencies. The "Council of Turkish Citizens in Germany" has called for increased police activity to prevent future offences and determine who is responsible for the recent attacks.
FAZ 24.7.96 // FR 25.7.96 // dpa 25.7.96

Statistics: Government accused of incorrect handling of Aussiedler statistics

SPD specialist for domestic affairs, Welt, accuses the federal government of publishing statistics which do not give a correct picture of Aussiedler (ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe) immigration. Current testing of German language skills in the countries of origin does not, according to Welt, actually reduce the number of Aussiedler, but only delays their entry. In the first seven months of this year 15,122 fewer Aussiedler than in the same period of the previous year (114,534 persons) entered Germany. There have been 30,458 applications for immigration in 1996.
dpa 16.7.96 // SZ 2.8.96

Statistics: More parishes grant church asylum

The number of parishes granting church asylum to refugees facing expulsion is increasing. According to data of the manager of the ecumenical federal task force "Asylum in the Church", more than 40 parishes (ten more than in 1995) are providing church asylum for more than 100 refugees.
FR 18.7.96

Asylum statistics

The number of petitions for asylum in July 1996 increased up to 9,511 applicants which is 1,277 applicants more than the previous month. In July 1995 their number was 10,223. 2,042 refugees came from Turkey, 1,187 from Rump-Yugoslavia and 797 from Irak. In July 14,749 applications for asylum were decided of which 7,8% (1.147 persons) were granted asylum. Another 4,7% (699 persons) were granted protection from deportation.
BAFl Press Announcement 6.8.96

July 1996

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